Each week we feature a different outstanding Florida Rabbi.
Rabbi Yossi Lebovics
Temple Ohel B'nai Raphael
Based on the teachings of Rabbi Menachem M. Shneersohn
From Parshat Pekudei we proceed into Parshat Vayikra. The relationship between these two Parshiot is as follows:
The last verses of Parshat Pekudei speak of the Anan (cloud) that was upon the Mishkan. Anan signifies concealment preventing Moshe from entering the Ohel Moed. "And Moses was not able to come"
The subsequent Parsha begins: "And G-d called unto Moshe"- call signifying revelation. Thus the order- a revelation that follows upon concealment.
A revelation that follows concealment is superior to revelation itself.
In man's avodah (service to Hashem), the avodah of a revelation followed by concealment concealment is the avodah of teshuvah (returning). Teshuvah follows after man had removed himself from G-d a form of concealment. Teshuvah literally means return, the aspect of revelation.
In Teshuvah- similar to the concept of revelation following concealment- there is an aspect of a two fold measure of salvation, not only that he reaches the level which he was at prior to sin, but even higher than that. Ultimately he reaches a level where sins are transformed into merits and darkness is converted into light.
This indeed is the meaning of the ruling that -where Baalei Teshuvah (the penitent) stand, the perfectly righteous are unable to stand.
The righteous have merits. This includes two levels: a) there is a hamshocha- drawing forth of the divine light by means of positive precepts, and b) there is a hamshocha- by means of negative precepts (repulsion of evil), but this is no more than a repulsion of evil and not a conversion of evil into good.
Teshuvah however touches the very core of the soul, and even higher to the divine essence. It is therefore beyond restrictions, where even premeditated sins are transformed into virtues. This is the ultimate call that follows concealment. It is not a mere removaL of the concealment , but that he concealment becomes revelation. "The night shines like the day".
This principal offers a lesson to everyone in his avodah. One must never despair, regardless of his status. On the contrary, the concealment itself makes it possible to achieve a superior revelation.
The same idea applies to generations also. A Question has been raised: there have been worthier generations preceding our own, yet they were far from the Messianic redemption. How can we understand that this generation will merit the redemption?
The answer is- On the contrary! That is precisely why this generation will merit the redemption. And as explained above
Just before daybreak sleep is deeper. Thus there must be a special effort not to oversleep, and to wake up for the morning-light until we merit to see "the night shining like the day."